Colleen Meade
1990 Christmas Letter

December 9th, 1990       
Hi! Hard to believe another year is past! The kittens are now fully-grown and neutered cats - Sara rather unexpectedly 2 days before Christmas last year when she took a sudden interest in motherhood (and Snowball in fatherhood). Kathleen and I have survived as well, remarkably enough, with nothing more than the standard minor crises of family life - colds, flus, etc. Can't complain.

We did make it to Mexico again last winter, for three glorious weeks. We went back to Zihuatanejo and also back to Club Med. It certainly was more relaxing this time, knowing what a good traveller Kathleen was and especially with her having learned to swim while we were down there last year. The little darling spent practically the whole time at Club Med in the mini-club, which gave me a wonderful chance to have some time to myself. Of course, last year was the last time she could stay free, and she knew that if she didn't do that, we probably wouldn't go again - the kid's no dummy! However, when she does use the facilities like that, it's still well worth it, even when I do have to pay for her (it is only just a bit more than half the adult cost). So, we're booked to go once more, on January 24th, for almost three weeks, again spending the first while (8 days) in 'Z', then finishing up with 9 days at Club Med (stopping over in Mexico City for a day both ways - it still is the best plan, cost- and schedule-wise).

I never did get our last year's trip albums finished - hope I can do it before we go! I got busy working in the garden fairly soon after we got back (doing the clean-up I hadn't finished in the fall), though we did manage to catch one major snowfall (we'd missed several while we were down there) and build a fine family of snowpersons (and a snowkitten - that's Kathleen with it in the photo).

After our thoroughly miserable rainy May and June, Kathleen and I really enjoyed the lovely weather that we had for the rest of the summer. We went to the beach or the pool or the park (or else just the back deck and the back yard - Kathleen loves her waterslide) pretty well every evening as well as on weekends and on my day off. That meant I didn't get much else done, including contacting friends, but it certainly was lovely. Kathleen could find some little friends to play with and I could just relax and read - heaven! I kept thinking that the good weather would disappear after a day or two, like last year, but it never did! It was even beautiful again for Kathleen's birthday party on July 19th, luckily.

I'm also still giving two 'Fashion Parties' each year, one in April and another in September. It's a great incentive to do my spring and fall housekeeping, as well as being a good way to see all my friends and get a bunch of lovely clothes at the sametime, without spending TOO much money or spending all my spare time (what spare time ?!) shopping at Oakridge!

Kathleen started Grade 1 in September - 5 days a week at Maple Grove School. She found it quite a change from the half-days of kindergarden, but she still really likes it and she's learning a lot. Now she reads ME the bedtime story. I'm still working just 4 days a week (still at H.A. Simons), although even at that I still never seem to get caught up on everything around the house and the yard, or on any of my various other projects - I'm now over 2 years behind on Kathleen's photo albums. Oh well, I keep telling myself it will get better. It never does, but as long as I can fool myself into believing it will at some time in the future, I can keep on going. It's quite a bit harder now, as Mom Shelton died in late September. She was a wonderful mother-in-law and she was a tremendous support to me, both moral and physical, and Kathleen and I both miss her terribly (as do Dad Shelton and Curt, too, of course).

Well, time to get on with the rest of the Christmas preparations. Kathleen went up the valley with some friends last weekend to cut down a real, live Christmas tree. It certainly is a fun time of year, especially with a lively 6-year-old to help one see it through young eyes.

Hope all is well with you and yours ...

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